I can’t even imagine what kind of hellish day the people of Hawaii had yesterday. Even thinking about it from the East Coast of the mainland is terrifying.
Early Saturday morning (Hawaiian time) an emergency alert was pushed out to the cell phones of residents and visitors to the island. It said a ballistic missile was inbound and that “THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” It resulted in a mass panic, with people scrambling to get to emergency shelters. Videos show residents turning to desperate measures for safety, including physically putting kids in the sewer system.
Thank goodness we had competent, experienced, well-drilled officials at U.S. Pacific Command. They quickly communicated and coordinated with the proper authorities to ensure that they knew the alarm was a false one. What was inexcusable in this situation (beyond the hall-of-fame level screw up that sent the alert in the first place) was the 38 minute gap between the initial false alert being sent out and the follow-up stating it was a false alarm.
Everyone is, understandably, a little bit tense right now. Two world leaders are brandishing nuclear weapons at each other over state-run media and Twitter. Nerves have cooled recently thanks to South Korea engaging in diplomacy with their northern neighbor, but the situation is still completely unacceptable.
We do not deserve to live in fear. A situation like this is terrifying because it could have VERY easily evolved into a intercontinental shooting match where millions of people wind up dead. One of the terrible things that Trump voters chose to inflict upon America is the return of the Cold War, where nuclear fears are rampant and our leaders practice the dumbest possible foreign policy maneuvers.
I was born just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. I wasn’t alive during the height of the Cold War and I don’t want to relive it. I don’t want anyone to relive it, yet here we are thanks to the madness of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
I believe that there’s two lessons we should take from today:
- Diplomacy is the answer to this problem. We saw what would’ve happened if diplomacy weren’t exercised on full display today: panic. Pure terror. Thankfully, there wasn’t any death or destruction that followed.
- This is why we must reject any type of end times philosophy from our political discourse. People are free to believe what they want to believe but beliefs that are built on foundations of putting people into negative places and the repression of others must be kept out of power. Nuclear weapons and the path to nuclear war is what this schema desires. It is incredibly harmful to everyone involved.
I’ve been writing this blog for almost a full year. I hope I only have to write only a thousand or so more entries. I hope we can get Trump out of office and out of power as soon as possible.
Our sanity, and quite possibly our safety, depend on it.